Apr 6 2021

Park Commission Wednesday, April 7, 5:30 pm.

Read about the Heritage Tree selection, flowers, minutes, Agenda, participation, and much more by clicking the link below.

Park Commission 4-07-2021

Mar 31 2021

The 801 Magnolia Avenue building would be the perfect place for a Senior Center.

I am amazed that there is no Senior Center in Piedmont and the 801 Magnolia building would be the perfect place to have such a center.  We who live here and have helped build this community have nowhere to go in Piedmont. 

There is a Senior meeting held once a month (during non-Covid times) that does not engage the community very well. 

Seniors need to be able to get together in their own communities for arts, crafts, exercise, classes, excursions and social engaging. Those of us who still live here need to go outside the community for such endeavors, now and as Covid is still strongly present, I have realized the lack of such in our community.

Carol Warren, Piedmont Resident

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
3 Comments »
Mar 30 2021

A Community Room for Piedmont at 801 Magnolia Avenue?

How should the public 801 building be used? Public or Private purposes?

If I read the tea leaves right, City Council won’t be holding any public hearings on the use of the 801 Magnolia Building. City staff has negotiated the lease renewal behind closed doors and there seems to be a majority on Council that couldn’t be bothered with public input on matters other than the lease.  That’s too bad because over the years residents have proposed creative ideas for 801 and were Council to engage in an open conversation with its constituents it would lead to better use of the building.

So if the West Wing is lost, let’s talk about the East Wing.  It’s a pretty utilitarian space with a series of cubicles left over from its days as a Sunday School Building.  Sort of a conference room with cubby holes.  Others have commented that the East Wing is well-suited for tutoring, historical displays, and other small group activities.   It might hold 20 comfortably around a conference table or more dispersed throughout the room. A that capacity, it is perfect for a community room. Many cities offer such rooms in libraries or municipal buildings at no or little cost to residents and non-profits.  Open the doors to the East Wing and Piedmonters will find a way to use it.

For that to happen, two things need to occur. First, city staff needs to occupy the offices in the West Wing.  Based on my time on Council, staff has every reason to do this – City Hall is packed to the rafters – or more accurately the basement – and staff was always asking for appropriations to rehab the downstairs.   Why do that when there is perfectly good office space in 801?  But more to the point, having the City occupy the West Wing offices would put staff in proximity to an East Wing community room which would enable public use of the room, particularly as a drop-in center.  Staff would be on hand to “chaperon” the space.  In my experience Piedmonters don’t need chaperoning but I suspect this would be required legally. 

Second, the Piedmont Center for the Arts (PCA) needs to agree to City use of the office space.  That may be hard for PCA to do.  The current tenant of the office is an ex-board member of PCA who was given a below-market rent for the space. Abrogating that arrangement could lead to some bad press for PCA.  The proposed lease for 801 currently has PCA retaining control of the office spaces in the West Wing which it will presumably continue to rent to the ex-board member.  Why should PCA be allowed to rent a public space at below market rates while the City charges higher rates to other non-profits?  If PCA does not need the office space for its own programming, then let the City use the space for its needs.

Surveys of the community have consistently shown that residents want more gathering spaces in the civic center area, be it public or commercial space.  The East Wing offers an excellent opportunity to meet this need and Council should consider how use of the West Wing could facilitate operation of a drop-in center in the East Wing.

  Residents with ideas on how the 801 Building should be used should contact City Council at:

citycouncil@ci.piedmont.ca.gov.

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Garrett Keating, Former Member Piedmont City Council 
Editors Note:  Opinions expressed are those of the author.
1 Comment »
Mar 30 2021

After 27 years, Recreation Supervisor Erin Rivera, a 27-year employee of the Piedmont Recreation Department, has announced her retirement, effective May 21, 2021.

Ms. Rivera joined the Recreation Department in 1993 as the Wildwood Schoolmates Site Coordinator. In 1996, she was promoted to Recreation Supervisor. In her time with the City, she has been integral to programming for children of all ages.

In her time with PRD, Erin has supervised pre-school and school aged programming. She supervised the Schoolmates program for many years, ensuring high-quality before and after school care for Piedmont students. Erin also grew PRD’s preschool programs from an enrichment program into a full preschool program with six classes being offered five days a week.

Another of Ms. Rivera’s achievements has been PRD’s summer programs. Erin has worked diligently over the years to expand the breadth and quality of the summer programming offered to Piedmont’s youth. Some of her favorite camps have been Camp Cottontail, Camp Ishi, Camp 1973, Huckleberry, Outdoor Explorers, and Camp Everything.

Ms. Rivera is most proud of the CIT and Junior CIT programs, created in 1995, which have given thousands of kids their first job and work experience. She also is proud providing Movies in the Park to the Piedmont Community for twenty-four years.

“I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people over the last 27 years and we were all always focused on the same goal of providing care and experiences that were good for kids!!” said Rivera.

“Erin has dedicated her entire career to the Piedmont Recreation Department,” said Recreation Director Chelle Putzer. “She is responsible for building PRD’s wonderful Schoolmates, Preschool, and camp programs. Her creativity, dedication and service to the Piedmont community has been a cornerstone in the success of the Department for the past 27 years.”

“Erin’s enthusiastic dedication to providing great programs that were good for kids has been evident to me since my first day as Recreation Director,” said City Administrator Sara Lillevand. “She deserves tremendous credit for the programs she developed and the experiences she’s given to kids in her nearly three decades of work at the Recreation Department.”

Mar 30 2021

The City Council talked to candidates for hours on March 29, 2021, before diligently considering who to appoint to each available position.  The public meeting allowed viewers via Zoom to see the Council struggle amongst the talented group of applicants.  Residents should be pleased by the conscientious selection process. The meeting lasted for four hours, and in the end with one motion a slate was approved unanimously by the Council.  Service on the bodies is for 3 year terms as volunteers.

Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee: Robert McBain and Vanessa L. Washington

Civil Service Commission: Laura Isaacs and Michael Reese*

Park Commission:  Amber Brumfiel* and Patty Dunlap*

Public Safety Committee:  Stella Ngai and Jeffrey Horner*

Recreation Commission:  Rebecca Posamentier and Lisa Gardner

CIP Review Committee: Sharon Shoshani

Police & Fire Pension Board & City Investment Subcommittee: Robert Dickinson

* Incumbent

Mar 28 2021

Open Meeting: Monday, 6 pm March 29, 2021 

Interview Schedule 2021-03-29  <

  AGENDA >  City Council Agenda 2021-03-29 (Special)                * Incumbent

Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee (2 Vacancies)

6:15 p.m. Vanessa L. Washington

6:20 p.m. Jill Tanner (Also applied for Public Safety)

6:25 p.m. Robert Dickinson (Also applied for Housing Advisory, Planning)

Robert McBain (Also applied for Police & Fire Pension Board)

Michael Reese* (Also applied for Civil Service, Public Safety)

BAFP 2021_Redacted    Applications

Civil Service Commission (2 Vacancies)

6:30 p.m. Amy Kelly

6:35 p.m. Laura Isaacs

Michael Reese* (Also applied for Budget Advisory, Public Safety)

Civil Service 2021_Redacted   Applications

Park Commission (2 Vacancies)

6:40 p.m. Sharon Shoshani

6:45 p.m. Jenny Feinberg (Also applied for Recreation)

Amber Brumfiel*

Patty Dunlap*

Park 2021_Redacted Applications

6:50 p.m. BREAK

Public Safety Committee (2 Vacancies)

7:00 p.m. Jamie Totsubo

7:05 p.m. Michael Reese (Also applied for Budget Advisory, Civil Service)

7:10 p.m. Stella Ngai

7:15 p.m. Sara Kaplan

Jeffrey Horner*

Jill Tanner (Also applied for Budget Advisory)

Public Safety 2021_Redacted Applications

Recreation Commission (2 Vacancies)

7:20 p.m. Brooke Wall

7:25 p.m. Rebecca Posamentier

7:30 p.m. Mike McConathy

7:35 p.m. Lisa Gardner

7:40 p.m. Caroline Davis

7:45 p.m. Derek Cheung

Jenny Feinberg (Also applied for Park)

Recreation 2021_Redacted  Applications

CIP Review Committee (1 Vacancy) No Applicants

Police & Fire Pension Board & City Investment Subcommittee (1 Vacancy)

Robert McBain (Also applied for Budget Advisory)

Police & Fire Pension 2021_Redacted   Application

Interview Schedule 2021-03-29  <

 

 

Mar 28 2021

On March 22, 2021, the City Council appointed Doug Strout to the Planning Commission and an alternate Planning Commissioner Justin Zucker.  Also, the Council appointed 5 members to the new Housing Advisory Committee, Rani Batra, from the Planning Commission, June Catalano, Jane Lin, Justin Osler, and Claire Parisa.

Interview Schedule 2021-03-22   Unannounced

Planning 2021_ Applications [Redacted by City Clerk]

Housing Advisory 2021_ Applications [Redacted by City Clerk]

WATCH THE MEETING  >https://piedmont.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=2318  Video of 3/22/2021 Special Council meeeting

Readers are advised to watch the interviews and meeting now.  A public meeting notice was not provided to media sites, including this one, an error noted by the City. Interested individuals could not know the March 22, 2021 meeting was taking place unless they checked the Police Department Bulletin Board * 24 hours prior to the meeting. 

*Correction from the City Clerk: The agenda was posted in three locations, the city’s web site, City Hall (we’re posting on the front door, as the bulletin boards are not accessible to the public because of COVID), and the Police Department. Residents who went to any of these locations would have seen the agenda, not just individuals going to the Police Department.  City Clerk John Tulloch 3/29/2021

PCA Editors Comment:  PCA’s goal is for transparency, public information and public involvement.  The California Brown Act, requires agendas to be timely distributed to requesting media outlets.  PCA, a media outlet, received no notice.  The City Clerk has apologized for the noticing error. 3/30/021

More to follow in the future on the process. 

Mar 25 2021
This past week our country has witnessed a heartbreaking continuation of violence focused on people of Asian descent. Recent attacks against those of Asian descent have been traumatic. The deadly shooting in Atlanta this week understandably increases the concern, fear, and trauma especially for our Asian community. Furthermore, these disturbing attacks are targeting the most vulnerable in our communities.
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As your Chief of Police, I want our entire community, and particularly our community members of Asian descent, to know their police department stands with them.  We have been following these events closely and have been in contact with the Oakland Police Department and our other county partners. I have also made it a priority to reach out to local community stakeholders and representatives of the Piedmont Asian American Club (PAAC) to offer my support following these intolerable crimes.
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Any race-based attacks and incidents borne of ignorance will be thoroughly investigated and will not be tolerated in Piedmont. We will coordinate any investigations with the Alameda County District Attorney’s newly formed Special Response Team which has been assembled to assist local law enforcement and our community with the recent violent attacks. The team, made up of Deputy District Attorneys, inspectors and victim/witness advocates is in place to support our investigative efforts.
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Finally, I encourage anyone in our community to speak up and speak out. If you’ve been the target of a race-based attack, please call our police department. Violence against anyone in our community affects us all. We here at the Piedmont Police Department will continue to do all we can to support and protect everyone and are mindful of the specific trauma those of Asian descent are experiencing now. We are in this together..
Police Chief Jeremy Bowers
1 Comment »
Mar 25 2021

– Alameda County is making important changes to the AC Alert System –

Many Piedmont residents have elected to receive notifications from AC Alert System.

Please be aware that beginning April 15th, AC Alert will no longer use text messaging or voice calls to distribute non-emergency messages such as red flag warning, community event information or traffic alerts. All non-emergency notifications will be sent via email and the Everbridge app only. The change does not apply to alerts sent out in an emergency, such as orders to evacuate or shelter in place. Emergency alerts will continue to be sent via all available paths.

To ensure you continue receiving non-emergency notifications from the City of Piedmont and Alameda County, go to www.acalert.org and confirm you have at least one email address included in your profile.
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You should also download and install the Everbridge app on your mobile device, then search for Alameda County to log into your account. Make sure that you have subscribed to the City of Piedmont.
Mar 25 2021
The City of Piedmont is working to keep residents informed on the evolving COVID-19 situation and other City happenings. This email update will be sent out weekly as news warrants. We want to make sure as many people as possible get this important information so, please share this with others and encourage them to subscribe to the update. The City is also updating the City’s website and social media channels. Stay connected and informed!